The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

June 14, 2013

Booking system praised

EBENSBURG — The first of what may be a number of positions needed to staff Cambria County’s newly implemented central booking system was created by the commissioners this week.

The action came amid accolades by the commissioners and Cambria County Prison Warden John Prebish, who agreed the system is ready be fully implemented by next month.

“This was well done,” said president Commissioner Douglas Lengenfelder.

“This was a creative way, by opening the center to the northern half of the county first, then opening it to the south.”

The center went into operation in early May with all police departments from Cambria Township north to the county line bringing defendants to the system established at the jail rather than to the local magisterial district judges’ offices for arraignment.

With more than a month of successful operation, Prebish said the booking staff is ready to begin accepting defendants for arraignment from Johnstown and all other departments south of Route 22.

The prison anticipates expanding the service beginning July 8.

The center was developed with the goal of reducing the time police departments throughout the county must dedicate to arraignments at the district judges’ offices.

Designed by Cambria County President Judge Timothy Creany, District Attorney Kelly Callihan and Prebish to mirror a similar one in Centre County, the center allows police departments to drop defendants off at the prison for processing and return to patrol.

Once at the prison, the defendant is arraigned via video hookups with the district judges. Arraignments are held each day at 8 a.m., 4 p.m. and 10 p.m., regardless of the time the defendants were brought in.

Juveniles arrested on more serious crimes also will be processed through central booking, but extra steps are being taken to provide that the younger defendants are kept separate from adult defendants.

Eventually, plans call for a separate booking area for juveniles.

Prebish has been operating the center by shifting two corrections officers out of the prison. 

Through midweek, the center had  processed 101 bookings since it started.

Those included 41 people in custody and 60 people termed “walk-ins” reporting for their own for arraignments.

“We anticipate our numbers more than doubling with the south coming on board,” Prebish said.

State law allows the central booking system to impose a $200 booking fee for adult defendants arrested for felonies, misdemeanors or summary offenses that become misdemeanors on a second arrest after conviction.

A $50 booking fee will be assessed against juvenile defendants arrested on charges that if filed against an adult would constitute the same category of crime.

Funds for the staff needed to man the center along with money for an anticipated addition to better house the center will be paid for from the fund.

Cambria County Controller Edward Cernic Jr. said he has established a separate account for the booking fees, but the costs to operate the center coming from the general fund budget.

Lengenfelder said it is a cash flow issue and any money taken out of the general fund will eventually be repaid from the booking fund account.

To read stories in their entirety, visit one of these links:

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • Fire1.JPG Neighbors rouse residents from West End fire

    Vincent Freedman was asleep in a duplex in Johnstown’s West End early Monday when he was awakened by pounding on the door.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • mundys corner wreck 22 Motorcyclist injured on Rt. 271 in Mundys Corner

    An accident reconstruction team was brought in to process a crash scene involving a motorcycle and tri-axle truck on Route 271, investigators said.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rents change with new rules

    A change in federal housing regulations raises the rent for 28 public housing tenants and reduces the rent for 29 tenants in Johnstown Housing Authority communities.

    July 21, 2014

  • Memorial programs recognized

    A national hospital ranking report recognizes Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center as high performing in four categories.

    July 21, 2014

  • Residents seek Sonman memorial

    Relatives of workers involved in one of the biggest mine disasters in the region’s history are working to keep the victims’ memories from fading. Next year marks the 75th anniversary of the 1940 Sonman Mine explosion, which claimed 63 lives.

    July 21, 2014

  • Foul play ruled out in train fatality

    Foul play has been ruled out in the death of a Windber man found struck by a train near Seward early Sunday, investigators say.

    July 21, 2014

  • Correction 07/22/2014

    July 21, 2014

  • Concussion prevention project progressing

    A Johnstown-area hospital and school district are a step ahead of the president's call for more research into sports injuries, having developed a groundbreaking concussion-prevention program aimed at helping all athletes, particularly students, avoid brain injuries.

    July 21, 2014

  • Local briefs 7/22/2014

    July 21, 2014

  • Pennsylvania sees 3rd rating downgrade in 2 years

    New York-based credit ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service is slapping a lower rating on Pennsylvania’s debt for the second time in two years, as state government grapples annually with built-in budget deficits.

    July 21, 2014


What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads